Saturday, 17 November 2012

Pirate Pudding ! Landlubber's Date and Rum Cake

Arrgghh it be me cookin' with me best grog - Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum. Back long ago in a landlubber's galley I'd bagged me a sticky toffee date ration spiced to the main sail by vanilla and cassia rum  an' set it sailin' on a rum'd toffee sauce.

So the story goes anyway but I can't keep this pirate talk up for the whole blog, sorry! Pirates avast 'ere 'Pirate/English Translator'. Meanwhile, back in a bar on dry land, I tried this lovely spiced rum which I thought would work well in a cake. For me Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum  has a sweet creamy vanilla aroma and an undertone of light cinnamon but it doesn't taste sweet at all.  The official site states that Captain Morgan 'rocked' the Caribbean defending British Interests which is possibly how he felt after a special rum mix!

I had a hankering to add this delicious rum to something sweet other than cola or a cocktail mix. My family loves a traditional sticky toffee pudding cake which I find almost too sweet but would make a good foil for the rum.      So the principal steal is....

Take one sticky toffee date cake recipe and replace the cold tea which is used to soak the dates in with the rum.     
Then  add a good measure of rum into the toffee sauce. Use your favourite recipe and adapt or use the one on my printable recipe page here.

Sounds easy but what if you really like rum ?And what if you wanted to really taste it in your pudding  ? Then we must use the PMI principal ie Pour More In than the recipe calls for ; add  an extra bottle cap full per pudding or person so you can actually taste it. So before it is served add you dessert spoon full of rum over the pudding. 

You can serve this cake cut into slices as a traditional pudding and pour the toffee over or.......

You can get the Jolly Roger onto a pick and cut out an island shape - I used a large ice-cream scoop - add waves of cream and a sea of sauce.

I'm not sure that Pirates would approve so here's the famous Captain Jack Sparrow in a mix from Why is the rum always gone? Enjoy!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Pop Rocks Fizzing Firework Cupcakes

Pop Rocks and Wizz Fizz sherbet fun in a knock-out cupcake for fireworks night or any other celebration for that matter. I took some to market today and asked my panel of testers for the pop rocks popping candy count and we had a 99% success  rate for the pops staying in the chocolate so I'll definitely make these again. In fact, we wanted some girlie pink ones for a baby shower and a little girl's birthday so we were fizzing all week thanks to Cybercandy sweetie shop samples.  These are really easy to make and the challenge is to keep your hands dry when handling Pop Rocks and not to eat too many while baking! Here's how:

Bake or take some cupcakes . I used buttercream* on the Strawberry Pink ones and Black fondant and buttercream on the Dark Chocolate version. For the Firework Decoration; cocktail sticks or lollipop sticks, edible colouring, cooking chocolate and/or candy melts, glitter, fondant stars and Pop Rocks

*We went an extra fizzy mile and added sherbet Wizz Fizz to the buttercream. This is the strawberry one which coloured and flavoured the buttercream a nice pink too.

I painted the cocktail sticks and for our youngest customers ; some less sharp lollipop sticks with edible colouring. Just choose the colour to match your main chocolate explosion! 

Next melt your cooking chocolate or candy melts and make swirly blobs on some baking/parchment paper. I didn't oil the paper first and it still peeled off fine but it was good  grease proof paper. Then place you stick in the centre of each. Leave this to set or put in fridge to speed things up.

Now dry your hands thoroughly or wear protective catering gloves if you want to give you Pop Rocks longer 'life'. As soon as they get in touch with water they will pop. Put the Pop Rocks on top of the chocolate and then cover them with more melted chocolate.

I made strawberry and dark chocolate versions. Why do Pop Rocks make you laugh so much? And why do we insist on getting people to listen to them exploding in our mouths? There are no age limits to this either!

Now the other fun bit to decorate with stars and glitter for your fireworks explosions. You can buy gold stars  and you can make lots of mini fondant ones really cheaply. 

However, I love glitter and it depends on how you feel about digesting small amounts of the stuff. Technically catering glitter is a decorative product rather than a edible product but it's not poisonous either. Look out for the edible sugar based 'glitters' if you are really worried but you only need a tiny bit for a fun effect.

Add some of the decoration to the top of you cupcake for 'falling' fireworks.

Strawberry 'pink' was voted the favourite of the day using Strawberry Pop Rocks but I've already had requests to do Cola versions. If you haven't heard of Cybercandy yet, they have got real sweet shops but if you are like me and live out in the sticks then go online. You can check out my previous purchases  here for Cactus Coconut Cake and my very favourite Harry Potter inspired recipe ;The Big Butterbeer Cake and Butter Beer Fizz - Cracking the Recipe. And what am I going to buy next ? I really fancy a Baby Ruth Bar.....and..Pretzel M&M's...and..